Practicum in Reading Difficulties

RDGED 707 Practicum in Reading Difficulties
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Online Course 
Instructors: Dr. Paula Harms & Tera Ellison
3 graduate credits 

Register now to reserve a spot.
There is no registration fee to reserve a class.

Fall: September 16 - November 22, 2024
Tuition: $476 per semester hour graduate credit ($1,428 for a three-credit course)
Fall Tuition Due: TBA

If you need a copy of the syllabus for your employer to approve enrollment in the class, email: Online Professional Development.

Course Description

The practicum course is offered online with a requirement that course participants develop and instruct twelve one-hour lessons with a struggling reader. Participants will assess a reader's strengths and needs and then provide individualized instruction designed to help the student become a more proficient reader. The identified student needs to be in second grade or above. **Background check required.

Course Requirements

During the first two weeks of the course, you will explore the principles of effective one-on-one intervention programs, as well as the criteria for choosing a client. A struggling reader should NOT be selected or contacted until the end of the second week of the course. Information will be provided regarding the details of the client selection process and demographic requirements.

During Modules 3-5, you will assess the student, interpret the assessment results, and determine learning outcomes.

During modules 6-11, you will develop and teach twelve one-hour lessons and analyze each lesson’s results using a detailed lesson plan form. During the 12 lessons, you will administer 5 running records using familiar text. Also, you will do a miscue analysis of errors for 2 of the 5 running records. All of these forms will be submitted as part of the course requirements.

After twelve lessons, a summary of assessment and instruction will be compiled and submitted as a capstone artifact in your Reading Teacher ePortfolio. All artifacts from your previous reading courses will be updated before submitting your final ePortfolio for the Benchmark III end-of-reading program assessment.

Expectations of the Site-based Supervisor (Local School Administrator)

In addition to your university instructor/supervisor and as required by PI 34.023 legislation, you will need to secure a site-based supervisor for your RDGED 707 practicum. The following are expectations of your site-based supervisor:

  • Has an administrator license, at least three years of experience, at least one year of experience at the current place of employment, and completed training in supervision.
  • Will evaluate student progress at least two times during the semester, including a midterm and final evaluation.
  • Will conference with the student and university instructor at least two times during the semester.

Who can enroll?

Students who meet the prerequisites: successful completion with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in each of the five prerequisite courses: RDGED 701, 702, 703, or 704, 705, 706, background check, and consent of instructor.

RDGED 706 Assessment and Evaluation of Reading Difficulties must be completed before enrollment in RDGED 707 Reading Practicum. The assessments and evaluation reports required for RDGED 707 are introduced and practiced in the prerequisite course.

How do I register?

Complete the Online Registration Form.

If you need a copy of the syllabus for your employer to approve enrollment in the class, email: Online Professional Development.

When is the registration deadline?

Reserve your spot now. This program is top-rated, and courses fill well before the start date.

The RDGED 707 Reading Practicum is offered during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Consider the advantage of enrolling in the practicum during the summer semester when you will not have the pressure of preparing for your daily teaching assignments in addition to the practicum lessons.

Software Required

All lesson plans must be created in Microsoft Word. All materials used during the lessons must be scanned to create PDF files and submitted with the lesson plan Word documents in the course Dropbox.



Readings will be assigned from all of the following textbooks.

Course textbooks to purchase

1.  Blevins, W. (2023). Phonics from A to Z: A practical guide. (4th ed.) Scholastic.
(This book is also used in RDGED 701 Developmental Reading, RDGED 705 Instructional Techniques for Assisting Students with Reading Difficulties, and RDGED 707 Practicum in Reading Difficulties.)

2. Diamond, L., & Thorsnes, B.J. (eds). (2018). Assessing reading-multiple measures. (2nd ed. rev). Core. Purchase link:  

E-textbook provided in your course

3.  Leslie, L. & Caldwell, J. S. (2021). Qualitative reading inventory - 7th edition. Pearson Allyn & Bacon.

Free download

4.  Armbruster, B. B., Lehr, F., & Osborn, J. (2001). Put reading first: The research building blocks for teaching children to read. (3rd ed). Retrieved from

Our Students Say. . .

"I enrolled in the reading certification program with a desire to strengthen my knowledge base in the areas of developmental reading. In doing so, I made myself a better teacher and a better teaching partner. 

I wanted to open the possibilities of what my teaching role could be by adding a reading license to my special education license. With both licenses, I can provide enhanced support to more students. "
~ Sandra Buxton, Special Education Teacher, Verona, Wisconsin

No travel to campus required
  • Participate 24/7 from your home or work computer during hours that are best for your work and family schedule.
  • The class is highly interactive with a significant discussion component.
  • All discussion postings, projects, and assignments will be submitted via the course discussion board and Dropbox.
  • Activities are conducted according to a schedule with specific due dates each week.
  • There are no required "live" chat sessions.
  • This is not a self-paced class.